By: Kennedy Copeland ~Guest Writer~
I have been the President of Xavier College Republicans for three consecutive school years. It has become a part of my identity, a title that I used to be honored to place next to my name. The experience has led me to the most marvelous opportunities working as the Chief Media Correspondent for a United States Congressman, a Public Relations Intern for the Secretary of State and most recently, the Chairman of Marco Rubio’s Ohio presidential campaign.
Nonetheless, I am not listing my expertise in order to sway your vote. My goal is to speak as a person who has watched the party she loved blow up in flames.
It was not supposed to be like this. Many millennials and adults alike have bought the liberalized propaganda that “the Republican Party is the party of old, white, rich men” for too long. Take a look at the 2016 Republican primary field: the youngest and most diverse in American history. Only four Latinos have ever run for President of the United States, and two of them were in our primary: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. We had the first Indian-American, Bobby Jindal. We had Ben Carson. We had Carly Fiorina.
The Democrats? They had Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton: two wealthy, old, white politicians. Republicans have the youngest sitting Senator under the age of 40, the youngest Speaker of the House since 1868, three governors under the age of 50 and nine United States Senators under the age of 50, and we have the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Who is the true party of youth and diversity?
Now I get it, you are probably discounting the primary diversity since Republicans nominated the most ghastly contender of them all. However, I urge you to keep in mind that less than half of the primary voters voted for the present nominee, and only around 14 percent of Republicans voted in the primaries. Trust me, I did not want this. I wanted Rubio to lead us to a “New American Century.” But now that we are here, what do we do about it?
I became a Republican because I truly believe in conservatism, and I want my kids to inherit a different political system than the one we inherited. I am confident that there is a far superior way than old school, big-government corruption. We deserve better. I have been fighting for fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets over the course of the last three and a half years at this university. But Trump has ruined that for me. He does not inspire, he does not talk about conservatism, he does not excite – he polarizes.
What has this polarization meant? Does the party of youth and diversity simply give up on our mission because our party nominee fails to represent the future that so many of us desire? Do we blindly support the nominee that only 44 percent of Republican primary voters voted for? Do we completely disregard his big-government policies that we have consistently refuted? I did not want to give up. I wanted to continue the fight. But the head of “Trump 4 America” articulated that the party that I love, the party that I fought for, was changing and that I was now the minority.
Well, I’m here to tell you that I do not believe that I am the minority for fighting for conservatism and for refusing to defend a man like Donald Trump. Who does not represent the party that I believe I stand with. But if I am truly a minority of the Republican Party, simply because I believe conservatism is more important than party loyalty, then I do not want to have my name next to College Republicans any longer. I have continuously fought for the party of youth and diversity, not polarization. And because of this, I will be stepping down, after three consecutive years, as President of Xavier College Republicans.